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What Is a Doula?

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Ashland Birth Center
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Redirecting laboring women caught in the tension/pain/fear cycle is the primary focus of a doula. If a mother relaxes and remains calm during labor, her tension diminishes. This lowers the pain associated with labor and ultimately results in less fear. When the mother is as relaxed as possible, the labor progresses more rapidly and less interventions are required. A doula is a woman experienced with birth, who will remain by a laboring woman’s side until after her baby is born. The doula provides physical, informational, and emotional support, such as massage, suggestions for position changes, and compassionate words of encouragement. She also helps guide the new mother through her first breastfeeding experience.

Since 1995 Asante Ashland Birth Center has provided doulas to assist obstetrical nurses and doctors and support Spanish-speaking mothers in childbirth. Doula support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All laboring women can request a doula as soon as they arrive at the hospital, and the service is free of additional charge.

Choosing an unmedicated birth may reduce a mother’s need for other common interventions during labor, such as epidural, narcotics, continuous fetal monitoring, and cesarean section. According to Doulas of North America, doula participation during birth reduces epidural requests by 60 percent, cesarean delivery by 50 percent, the need for oxytocin by 40 percent, forceps delivery by 40 percent, the need for intravenous pain medication by 30 percent, and delivery time by 25 percent. Mothers report greater satisfaction with the labor experience and their partner’s role in the birth as well as increased success with breastfeeding.

Meet Our Doulas

Andrea Walker, doula, Asante Ashland Community Hospital

Andrea Walker

“I have had a strong desire since I was a child to see babies being born. Since having my own children and becoming a doula, it has been a huge privilege for me to be able to support a woman/couple through the birth of their child. I believe giving birth is one of the most empowering things a woman will do in her life. I will be there to support you in whichever way you choose to welcome your beautiful baby or babies into the world.”

Coming Soon

Eden Bova

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Hannah Silver

Jessica Daggett

Jessica Daggett

Coming Soon

Martha Rivera-Canjura

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High-quality health care for everyone

As the largest health care provider in nine counties, Asante provides comprehensive medical care to more than 600,000 people throughout southern Oregon and northern California. Our facilities include Asante Ashland Community Hospital in Ashland, Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Asante Physician Partners and additional health care partnerships throughout the region.